Standing O for Mike Richards

Standing O for Mike Richards

It's said over and over and over. Sports is a business. And in the business world people aren't always happy with the way many businesses are run. Sometimes you have unhappy customers, often times there are also unhappy employees. The best businesses try to make all interested parties happy while simultaneously delivering the best possible product or service they can provide.

In sports, that comes down to making money and, more importantly if your favorite franchise has quality leadership, winning.

Mike Richards played six seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers -- wearing the 'C' for three of them -- but Ed Snider and Paul Holmgren, following the unceremonious end to last season, decided it was time to take the franchise in a different direction. Mike Richards and his partner in crime for so many years Jeff Carter were sent packing, instantly transforming the marquee faces of the franchise.

This was not the way Carter and Richie wanted it, but it was part of the business of hockey. It's not an aspect of sports that is likely particularly enjoyable for the players. And it's often quite painful for the fans to see their favorite player sent packing. If the team that owns your rights wants to ship you across the country to be employed in Los Angeles, well, that's where you'll find your new employment opportunity. Sure, these players make a few more bucks than Joe the Office Worker, which can likely ease an abrupt life change, but it's never fun being told what to do at any level, no matter the size of your paycheck.

And so Mike Richards will return to Philadelphia tomorrow to take on the same team he led for so many years, making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to come up short, and eventually be sent packing to the West Coast.

The off-the-ice stuff is unsubstantiated and something I choose to remember least when remembering Richie's time as a Flyer. I like to remember the two-way play, the effort, and the hustle he showed after colliding with Jaroslav Halak, getting up, and slamming that goal in.

He'll be wearing a Kings jersey tomorrow night at the Wells Fargo Center, now an enemy of the orange and black, but he'll still be a damn fun hockey player to watch.

Richards left Philadelphia through no wishes of his own, with his goal of bringing a Cup to Philadelphia yet to be achieved. That's just the way it turned out.

On Saturday night, Flyers fans should make it clear that they appreciated what the former Flyers Captain did for this team and this city for so many years. Mike Richards should get the same Philadelphia ovation so many other greats received upon returning to South Philly in a different uniform: a standing O.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.